Local resident Lubov, 71, carries goods received during a food aid distribution within the village of Lymany, Mykolaiv region, on Jan. 28, 2023, amid the Russian invasion of Ukraine.
Genya Savilov | AFP | Getty Images
WASHINGTON — America’s top spy agency says Russia’s war in Ukraine has disrupted global food security and triggered not only higher prices but additionally political instability in among the world’s most vulnerable countries.
The Office of the Director of National Intelligence, which oversees the nation’s 18 intelligence agencies, warned that countries situated in sub-Saharan Africa, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Syria and Yemen are particularly liable to political instability because of this of food insecurity.
“The mix of high domestic food prices and historic levels of sovereign debt in lots of countries, largely brought on by spending and recessionary effects of the Covid-19 pandemic, has weakened countries’ capability to reply to heightened food insecurity risks,” ODNI wrote within the assessment.
The intelligence group also wrote that the war has contributed to the “immediate and rapid rise in the costs of agricultural inputs, resembling fertilizers and fuel.”
The unclassified 8-page report mandated by Congress also said Russian forces stole roughly 6 million tons of Ukrainian wheat, likely for export. The Kremlin has previously denied that its troops in Ukraine targeted civilian infrastructure and engaged in looting.
Before Russian troops poured over Ukraine’s borders in late February 2022, Kyiv and Moscow accounted for nearly 1 / 4 of worldwide grain exports.
The 2 countries exported roughly 34% of the world’s wheat, 17% of corn and greater than 70% of sunflower oil, in accordance with data compiled by the United Nations.
Those exports got here to a halt for nearly six months until representatives from Ukraine, Russia, the U.N. and Turkey agreed to ascertain a humanitarian sea corridor under the Black Sea Grain Initiative. The deal, which was brokered last July, eased Russia’s naval blockade and reopened three crucial Ukrainian ports.
Greater than 1,000 ships carrying nearly 33 million metric tons of agricultural products departed from Ukraine’s war-weary ports for nearly a yr before Russia withdrew from the agreement last month.
A employee stands on top of a pile of wheat grain in a storage granary at Aranka Malom kft mill in Bicske, Hungary on Tuesday, May 16, 2023. The Black Sea deal has allowed Ukraine to ship greater than 30 million tons of produce from three major ports, helping to bring down global food prices down after they spiked following Russia’s invasion.
Akos Stiller | Bloomberg | Getty Images
Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said earlier this month that Russian President Vladimir Putin will meet in-person with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan to debate a possible return to the Black Sea grain deal. Peskov said the 2 would meet “soon” but declined to offer an actual timeline for the meeting.
What’s more, China, one in all Moscow’s most strategic allies and the world’s second-largest economy, was the indisputable top recipient of Ukrainian agricultural products under the Black Sea Grain Initiative.
Zhang Jun, China’s everlasting representative to the United Nations, said earlier this month that the Black Sea grain deal had a “positive impact on maintaining global food security” and called for the immediate resumption of Ukrainian agriculture exports in addition to Russian fertilizer products.
“China hopes that every one relevant parties will intensify dialogue and consultation and meet one another halfway,” Zhang said during a U.N. Security Council meeting on Aug. 3 chaired by U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken.